Auto review by Veeno Dewan
The Panamera is the hallowed German automakers rare and expensive four- door luxury sports sedan. The Panamera continues the same Porsche dedication to performance except is has four seats! The first Panamera’s arrived with a thumping V8 and was indeed a joy to drive. Since then a V6 engined version was launched along with a hybrid version. The latest version to come my way was a GTS version with 4.8L V8 that slots neatly between the heady 4S and the Turbo variants. In the GTS Porsche manage to wring an extra 30 hp out of the Panamera 4S engine for a total of 430 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm with 384 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm. You only get one transmission choice, namely Porsche’s sophisticated 7-speed dual-clutch PDK that delivers shifts no human could do as fast.
Activate the Panamera’s Sport Plus mode and Porsche claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds to the GTS…and I am not going to argue with that! Feel guilty about the fuel? Well the GTS has an Auto Start Stop function that cuts the engine when the car is stopped and the driver keeps his (Or her) foot on the brake pedal.
The same blend of the stiff chassis and grip mean superlative handling and control and it’s possible to hustle this nearly two- ton car with hardly any body roll in tight S bends. All-wheel drive is available, and the array of aids such as torque vectoring differentials, air suspension and electronically adjustable anti-sway bars all allow the Panamera to transform from a highway luxury limo to a lithe sports sedan taking corners as insane speeds.
Playing boy racer aside- the consummate beauty is just how rich and cosseted you and your passengers will feel as the Panamera glides along the highways and then turns all pseudo racer on demanding curves or when the driver wants to exercise his skills. The audio soundtrack is still good with a healthy growl emanating from the Panamera’s twin exhaust pipes. It’s best heard when you start the car, the exhaust roars with two sharp bursts of flak gun- like roar and the settles down to beating burble rising to a roaring bellow as you slam the gas pedal, very naughty, very sporty…and very satisfying. The acceleration curve on the GTS seems to lasts forever and you just run out of roads to
get the benefit of all that power.
However let us not forget this is a proper, spacious four- seater and traveling in the back is as good as sitting in the front. Porsche is well known for their “torture chamber” rear seats and so it is an incredible experience to actually have more than one adult passenger on board. The interior is simply exquisite with fine leather and exceptional attention to detail. And the Panamera is a gadget freaks dream with a vast array of buttons rather than too much LCD touch screen nonsense. I know it hurts when you can’t afford one…but go on take the plunge…sell a kidney, sell a kid. Sell the wife. Okay here is the rationale. The GTS starts at $126,700 rather than the $158,500 Porsche is asking for the full on Panamera Turbo and way below the frighteningly expensive top dog Turbo S at $200,300.Go see the bank. Buy once – enjoy for a lifetime.
2012 Porsche Panamera GTS priced from $126,000